New Faculty Bio: Vanessa Siddell Walker

Vanessa Siddle WalkerVanessa Siddle Walker is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American and Educational Studies at Emory University.  For 25 years, she has explored the segregated schooling of African American children, considering sequentially the climate that permeated the schools, the network of professional collaborations that explains their similarity, and the hidden systems of advocacy that sought equality and justice.

For her first single-authored book (Their Highest Potential:  An African American School Community in the Segregated South, University of North Carolina Press), Walker received the prestigious Grawmeyer Award for Education (2000) and the Best New Book Award from the History Division of the American Educational Research Association (1999). She is also author or co-author of Facing Racism in Education (Harvard Educational Review Reprint Series), Racing Moral Formation (Teachers College Press), Hello Professor: A Black Principal and Professional Leadership in the Segregated South (University of North Carolina Press), and Living the Legacy: Universities and Schools in Collaborative for African American Children (Rowan and Little, forthcoming). Her current project, Hidden Provocateurs: H. E. Tate and Black Educators Secret Struggle for Justice, is contracted with The New Press.

For her body of research, Walker has received three other awards from the American Education Research Association (AERA)—the AERA Early Career Award (1998), the Best New Female Scholar Award from the Research Focus on Black Education (1999), and the Outstanding Book Award from the Moral Development Special Interest Group. 

Walker completed her undergraduate training in education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; taught for four years at the desegregated Cummings High School in Burlington, North Carolina; and finished her masters and doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.